Off The Fence and Out Of The Closet
By Guest Blogger, Adrienne Mosse
So there I was lying in my crib, a newborn in the hospital, just hangin’ out with the other newborns in the nursery, and something just didn’t feel right. I knew I was different from all the others, but I just couldn’t pinpoint what it was… Okay, I didn’t quite know THAT young, but I may as well have.
I was never really “on the fence” about being gay, but I was on the fence about what to do with that information, and how to deal with it. It was pretty easy to ignore for the first 13 or 14 years of my life. I was just the little girl wearing the brown sweater and slacks (as we called them back then) in the class pictures, when all the other girls were in their dresses and party shoes.
As I got older, it became a bit more difficult to ignore the fact that I wasn’t all that interested in the same things my friends were interested in, namely; boys, make-up, hair and those sun reflectors everyone used back in the 80s.
They were off doing the things that all teenaged girls do, whispering about this cute guy and that weird one, while I was off on the sidelines wondering, “Will I have to marry a man, get pregnant, have babies and live a total lie?” I thought, “How am I going to exist in this world?” The operative word here being, exist. That was what my life was until my early twenties…I simply existed. I did not live, I did not experience. I existed. And I was pretty certain that I would just do that forever.
When I was growing up in the 80s, and even through the nineties, the only visible role models that I had as a gay woman, were suicidal characters and the occasional serial killer in movies. It’s a miracle I didn’t end up blowing up my neighbors’ houses! But, there was no Will and Grace, no L Word and certainly no Kevin and Scotty trying to find a surrogate mother and egg donor for their soon-to-be baby on “Brothers and Sisters.” You may take these characters and television shows for granted, perhaps not even choose to tune in, but at least they are represented in popular culture today. It was not too long ago that the famous kiss on Rosanne was a hot topic for days, even weeks. Today, no one would even think twice about it.
There is a reason why the Ellen coming out episode was so important. When that episode aired, it was like the Superbowl for Gay people! No joke! There were chips, dips, pizzas being ordered and nachos being served up at parties all over waiting to hear Ellen say “I’m Gay” to Laura Dern over the loud speaker at the airport. I myself got a little teary eyed when she did.
How did I jump off the fence you ask? Seeing as how I felt completely isolated and alone with no one to help me process all the confusion, that is a very logical question. The answer is simple; I have 2 of the most wonderful and supportive parents a child could ask for. Not to mention a sister who means the world to me. There was never a moment where I feared being disowned, or worse, thrown into a conversation with some religious leader trying to convert me back to “straightdom.” The only concern I had was that my parents would feel like they had failed or that they in some way contributed to the isolation and loneliness.
Once I made the decision to actually live instead of simply exist, I experienced nothing but love and support from my parents, sister, close friends and my extended family. I was finally able to exhale and enjoy my life. It was still an uphill battle trying to create a new identity in society, but it was an experience that I would not change for anything in the world.
It is going on about 18 years since I made the decision to live my life on my own terms. To live my truth. I have a wonderful partner of 8 years. We run our own business together and have three fantastic kids who are the absolute loves of our lives. If you would have shown me a crystal ball back in that nursery and told me that this would be my life, I would never have believed it. I am truly a lucky, lucky person and I am grateful for everything, everyday.
Ladies, tell our readers, have you experienced anything similar to Adrienne? Are you sitting on the fence with your sexuality?